5 Benefits Of Grief Journaling
Updated: May 20
Grief journaling can bring many benefits to you while you are grieving. Keeping a journal can improve your mental, physical and emotional health
1. Write your thoughts and feelings down
Writing your thoughts down can help you makes sense of how you are feeling. Very often you can be presented with conflicting emotions or feeling as if your mind or body are playing tricks on you. You can be experiencing irritation, anger or annoyance when in actual fact deep down you feel utter sadness, devastation, loneliness or isolation. Writing down how you feel is a great opportunity to be honest with yourself. At the end of the day, you are writing the journal for yourself, so if you can’t be honest with yourself, who else can you be honest with? So, write down exactly how you are feeling. What emotion or feeling is present today? What emotion or feeling is present right now as you are writing?
2. Building or continuing connections with your loved one
Grief journaling allows you to continue having connection between you and your loved one even after they died. If you experienced pregnancy loss or stillbirth and you feel that you were robbed of the opportunity to build any connection with your child, grief journaling can help you to create that connection. By writing things down about your child can create the connection that you never had the opportunity to create. How do you image your child to look? What do you imagine he/she would be doing right now?
If you were fortunate enough and spent some quality time with your loved one before they died, allowing yourself to write things down that you remember about them will help you to keep the memory of them alive. I hear it very often from my clients: ‘I fear that I will forget.’ My clients feel fearful that they will forget the little things, the small details that feel so significant and precious right now. Grief journaling offers you the opportunity to document every single detail that you remember about your loved one.
3. Making sense of what happened. Grief journal – your safe haven
As I mentioned earlier, grief journaling is for you, and you only. You do not have to worry that anyone will judge what you have written that anyone will judge your thoughts and feelings. Grief journaling offers safe, none judgmental space for you and your inner thoughts and feelings. If you are finding some feelings too difficult to deal with and you are seeing a therapist, you can always discuss it with them. Again, your therapist will not judge you or your thoughts or feelings, he/she is there to help you to navigate your way through grief. Dealing with loss can be extremely difficult and at times confusing and jarring. To make sense of what happened to you will take time and self-care is crucial when grieving.
Grief journaling is not only safe and confidential but it also offers space for checking on your progress with grief. Very often you might think that you are not feeling any better, that every day seems as painful as the one before. Only when you have the opportunity to look back, you realise that perhaps there was a day or two when you felt ok - better - not completely broken. Perhaps just for a tiny fraction of a day but nevertheless there was that moment where you managed to acknowledge some change.
Again, these ‘good days’ or ‘better days’ are precious and maybe very early in your grief very rare. However, without documenting about them you might lose track of how you feel, you might get annoyed with yourself or your grief that it consumes you all. That grief has taken over your life, leaving space for nothing else. Leaving you feeling broken all of the time.
So, I’ll encourage you to write it all down. The good, the bad and the damn ugly. Because, as you probably found out, grief doesn’t come in pretty little neat packages. The complete opposite is the truth. Grief is messy, explosive and very, very painful. And all of that deserves to be documented. If it is not, how else can you see that your grief changed? That the pile of mess seems slightly smaller, less painful and easier to carry?
4. Your journal – your way
Remember, this is your journal. There are no rules to say what you should and shouldn’t write. There are no rules to say that you must write in it every day.
Your journal, your rules. I would like to make you aware though that it might be helpful to set some time aside and write. Especially if you haven’t done any kind of journaling before. New habits can be hard to form. The grief journal is to help you. It is not your enemy, it is not there to trip you up and it is not there to make you feel worse than you are already feeling.
If journaling becomes part of your routine, it can feel easier to write. I don’t want you to feel that journaling is a chore. Make it your choice. Making it as something to help you on your grief journey. Make it a space for collecting feelings, emotions and memories. A space to dump the heaviness of your everyday grief.
5. Health benefits of journaling
As I mentioned at the very start of this blog, grief journaling can improve your physical and emotional health. By writing down how you feel, you are allowing the space to process your feelings and emotions properly, without judgment and without fear. This can be very beneficial to your mental health. Grief journaling can also reduce your stress levels, leading to better sleep and better day to day functioning. Grief journaling is a great aid to better emotional health. Grief journaling can help you to prevent developing depression and anxiety.
Hopefully, this blog – 5 Benefits Of Grief Journaling – helped you to understand why grief journaling might be something to consider when bereaved.
If you know someone who has been bereaved and is struggling with their grief why
not forward my blog link to your friend.
The link to this blog is: www.crawleybereavementcounselling.co.uk/blog
I am a bereavement counsellor and I have worked with many clients who experienced fantastic benefits of grief journaling alongside bereavement therapy.
If you would like to know more about bereavement therapy or you would like to book an introductory assessment session with me, please do not hesitate to contact me.
My email is: email@example.com
My phone: 07 429 255 636